RIVA – Italian Fish Restaurant

2 Reviews
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Italian, Seafood
Phone Number 0214180657 Opening Hours Lunch Dinner

Lunch: Thursday and Friday 12noon to 2pm

Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm

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Menu - Riva Restaurant - Set menu - Updated October 2018


R150 avg main meal
Italian, Seafood
No Corkage
R150 avg main meal
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Dinner, Food, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food, Takeaways, WiFi

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

Kathrine Pope

Childhood friends Nicoló Rovarini and Federico Rocca grew up on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Their resulting love of seafood is now being translated for a South African audience in De Waterkant.

If you’re expecting Italian classics, think again.

We kick off with a carpaccio (the fish changes daily), sliced and served with coconut flakes, olive oil and kiwi fruit. It’s an unusual pairing, and the flavours don’t quite meld. Saldanha Bay mussels – marinated in olive oil until wonderfully tender – served on a crispy fried piece of polenta, are a safer bet.

Pasta is made in-house, and the bronze drawn spaghetti, served with cherry tomatoes and clams is perfectly al dente. Squid ink gnocchi with prawns comes laced with vibrant threads of saffron, which lend a unique flavour to the dish.

If you’ve space for secondi, there’s the option of a vast platter, a smaller platter of fried hake, calamari and bait fish, or the Abalobi catch of the day.

For dessert, there’s a wonderfully chewy, almost creamy lemon sorbet, and a very good tiramisu.

At the time of writing, four months after opening, the restaurant was still waiting for a liquor license. For now, take your own wine, or make do with a rock shandy.

The restaurant takes its name from the legendary boat building company, Riva, who make the kind of wood-clad speedboat that James Bond would pilot. The white walls are cleverly decorated with broad blue stripes, a clutch of black-and-white photos and a little boat-themed brick-a-brack. Above, the light bulbs dangle from thick rope. All-in-all, the feeling is of a relaxed seafood trattoria, with lights just dim enough for it to feel romantic rather than cheap-and-cheerful.

Friendly and swift.

Best for...
 A fun evening with fish-loving friends.


Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

2 Reviews
    The best fish restaurant in town!!! Fresh, simple... cooked at the "Italian way" by the amazing chefs Federico and Nicolò. The service is fast, the atmosphere cozy and vibe. Highly highly recommended!

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